Friday, December 22, 2006

Endings and Beginnings

To the students of JMC262 Fall 2006: the semester is over now and so is our blog. But I'm going to keep it up here for posterity. If you ever feel nostalgic for the Fall of '06, you can always come back here to remember what it was all about. It's been fun reading your entries. Thanks for all your hard work. See ya round. Keep in touch.

To the students of JMC262 Spring 2007: this is our class blog, the place where we will post regular entries about our media consumption. As you can see from the last semester's entries, the blog is about lots of things. It's about movies, TV, music, games, magazines, websites, videos, the news, shopping, really anything that is related to media. And it's about our experiences of media and the ways that media are part of our everyday lives. I'm looking forward to meeting you, Spring 2007 people, and to getting to know you not just in class but also on the wonderful world wide web.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Procrastination is like masterbat...

I pretty much rule at life. This finals week is harsh. I have realized that i am addicted to marathons. It can be a marathon on any channel for the crappiest show or a show I've already seen, and i will watch it ALL DAY. Let's take for example, yesterday (aka "Study Day"). In order to reward myself for the hard work i put in Sunday-Weds at 3:15...I decided to relax and watch tv before I studied for my zoology final (NEVER take Bio 100 unless you desire depression). Anyways, I was flipping through the channels and came across the "America's Next Top Model Season 2" marathon on VH1. I was a woman posessed. I sat on the couch in my living room and watched that show from start to finish. I did not start studying at the library until 10pm for my final. I was there until 1am. I think i have a problem that i never knew about. The addiction hit me again today. It began after i awoke from my 4 hour nap after my Zoology final. I started watching the "Parental Control" marathon on MTV (aka the worst show ever). I couldn't stop. I had laundry to do, people to see...anything is better than watching that show.

I think that the networks needs to ban marathons during finals week. Or i could stay away from the television??

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


I just wanted to post in agreement to Professor Newman about the work of community building through the internet. I find Wikipedia to really be a new age phenomenon. Most especially the belief of the eradication of class through the sharing of knowledge. I believe that information truly does want to be free, and this is a perfect outlet for such a philosophy. My only hope is that we can have more sites like this that are unbound by demographics of the global population. Although highly individualized, the world of blogging (this being a perfect example) has huge potential for discussion and building up the wealth of information in the realm of democracy. This also leaves room for response, and the open individual mind can benefit greatly from it. However, because of its individualized nature of almost pure editorial and opinion, there may be a sense of insulation from others comments.
In this day and age, education itself is rapidly moving to the internet and computer accessibility. The idea of "click and pick" institutions most definitely has it's ups and downs. Will there be more or less accessibility in the end? Will lectures as podcasts be more effective? For some reason, the cost of taking courses online is extremely expensive, I believe, due to the cost of setting up specifically tailored programs (like PAWS for example). With the breadth of the global internet there are so many positives that can come out in the sense of community and so much that can be exploited in the sense of the individual.

Monday, December 11, 2006

good ol' youtubin' friday

so i just recently became a fan of youtube thanks to the shoes video. i never really went on it before cause i was so used to ebaumsworld and i have a problem with doing things that everyone seemed to like and become obsessed with before me (Ex. "dave" (matthews band that is), the da vinci code, aqua teen hunger force, etc.) . but after watching that shoes video, and almost dying cause i didn't want to hardcore bust out laughing in the middle of class, i've sucked it up and accepted the fact that i like youtube.

after showing my friends that video about one thousand times and laughing at ourselves quoting it, we decided to explore more videos. this is how we wasted away our entire friday. we layed in my bed, on top of dry fried rice from our feast the night before, and watched video after video.

we pretty much just watched all the videos that we already knew were funny/cool, but it was still a good time. i'm going to try and post some of them on here but i'm kind of computer illiterate so don't be suprised if it doesn't work.

and it didn't work. actually, i could probably make it work but i'm too lazy to do so. the only one i really wanted to post was "fucking cats". just type that in and click the one with the description about a guy yelling at his cats. yes i know that doesn't sound that funny but if you share my humor you'll think otherwise.

Friday, December 08, 2006


Of the three main award shows (Oscars, Emmys and Grammys), the Grammys have to be the worst. If they are not, then someone has to explain to me how artists like Regina Spektor get the shaft while The Pussycat Dolls get recognized. And, why does Justin Timberlake get nominated for best album every time he puts one out? There is certainly a lot worse out there, but I highly doubt that every single album he puts out is one of the top five masterpieces of music that this entire country was able to muster over the course of the year.

Back when Gwen Stefani was making decent music with No Doubt, that band hardly ever got recognized. Last year, Stefani got a bundle of nominations for her ridiculously boring, conventional and shallow solo pop album. I guess spelling the word "bannanas" over and over goes over well with the people who vote for these things.

If I was an artist in the music industry today and I got nominated for a Grammy, I would take that as an indication I was doing something very, very wrong.

Football on TV

I'm not a big football fan—I don't follow trades, know every teams records, or care whether or not someone is getting paid more than another. I just like watching some football games, but let me tell you, I absolutely hate it when TV networks screw up a game for me.

First, since most of the programming we get is from massive super companies, naturally they control the shows and what not. That's why a lot of the Packers games are at noon instead of 3pm - the networks wanted it that way. What the hell is with that? Football is fun and all, but when we have to take commercial breaks and pause game play, have a sponsor for everything, and crappy douchebags talking during another sponsored halftime, it kind of sucks.

Second, and most important, is the amount of crap TV networks put on the screen. My favorite network to watch football on now is ESPN, which has a small cool-looking box at the bottom of the screen. It shows the time left, the current down and the scores most of the time. When something like a flag or timeouts, part of the nifty box flies out and shows it. Then it goes away. Don't show me crap I don't need, people don't like it.

So what if he did drugs, he's talented!

Oh the days of watching Blues Clues in class. How great college is for allowing us to receive an education that is exciting and not too boring. Anyways, I know that when we talked about "Steve", the semi-host of Blues Clues, there was a lot of speculation over why he left and what he is up to now. Although I couldn't inform you of the prior I can say that he did make a record and, all in all, even though he was a kid's show host, his music is pretty bitchn'! Although it really doesn't have a specific genre, maybe indie or emo or something, it's relaxing and fun to listen to. His odd choice of lyrics and great music talent is really a big change from "Mail time" but I think it's worth downloading at least one song from iTunes. "Songs for Dust Mites" is the name of the CD, so go discover what "Steve" has done with his life. Sure, maybe the rumors are true that he left the show b/c he was on dope, but if that's helping him with his crazy skills, then keep truckin' Steve!

Radio djs so lame

As ive mentioned before I have only an am/fm stereo in my car so i listen to a good deal of it and i just want to say that while alot of the music is bad, the djs are worse. The most egregious thing i have heard this year and maybe in my life came from a dj on 103.7. Prior to playing some song by a band called Hinder, he said, "The band that brought the guitar solo back to music." Are you kidding me? Then i heard the song and started dry heaving and almost wrecked my car. Another example came at my usual fm station of choice 102.1. The dj was interruting 30 minutes of commercial free music to talk and give her two cents about the feud between Green Day and the singer from the Killers. She basically said the Killers are weak and can't talk about Green Day and then proceded to play the latest single from the Killers new album. My problem with this is i dont care what she thinks about either band especially while im in my car and am supposed to be enjoying uninterrupted music. "Commercial-free hours" basically mean commercials replaced by station promos and mindless chatter from djs.

long holiday shopping lines not your thing?

Since it’s more fun to bake holiday cookies than to go holiday shopping, I prepared a brief list of websites that will help have your shopping done before the cookies cool...

For your mom: www.crate&
If you give her fun-colored pots and pans, you’ll get a home-cooked meal. If you throw in some matching Tupperware, you’ll get to take home leftovers …and avoid Mayfair’s parking lot altogether.

And your dad:
Share the warm and fuzzy feelings of the holidays with a comfy (and environmental-friendly) fleece for your father. A cult-favorite: the men’s Synchilla Snap-T (recycled!) fleece for $80.00. Ideal for backcountry riding or just kicking back …available in 6 colors… totally timeless.

If you have a brother(s):
Not only a good option for the obvious reasons, but the added bonus: this week only, Best Buy is featuring the new Doors’ box Perception for just $99.99. Compared to the listing price (retailing at $149.98), this is definitely a bargain (6CD/6DVD) and totally worth the hundred bucks after you borrow and burn it onto your ipod …it’s a gift that keeps on giving.

Or sister(s):
Your sis will appreciate any gift attempt from Urban since she loves brands like Diesel, Free People, and Lux, and couldn't imagine living without their vintage-soft Basic Tees (just 2 for $25 or $16 each). If she’s not clothing crazy, check out the Entertain section under Apartment. All of the amusing books, games, and electronics (offered year-round) are Urban’s best-kept secret. For the arts and crafts lover, consider the books “D.I.Y.- Do It Yourself,” “Handmade,” or “Sublime Stitching” (on sale for $15). Or maybe she’s into extracurricular activities, in which I’d recommend either “Retox” or “The Marijuana Chef Cookbook” followed by “Lose Weight! Get Laid! Find God!” For the board game lover, “Party ‘Til You Puke” and “Chug It” are bargains at $14 each.

Man’s best friend:
This site has everything your dog will love and ultimately chew up …leashes, collars (check out the flashing-lighted collar for those who prefer to walk and pee at night), and a toy department for dogs that love to fetch Frisbees, chew ALL, play tug, or bury bones …all reasonably priced.

Girlfriend/fiancée/wife/neighbor’s wife:
No matter the extent of the relationship, Victoria’s Secret goes beyond bras and undies, offering fragrances, lotions, flannel pj’s (plus a free pair of matching slippers …possibly to be re-gifted and given to your other girlfriend?), and even make-up. Overwhelmed by all the options? Victoria even offers prearranged beauty gifts at 25% off.

Boyfriend/fiancée/husband/neighbor’s son:
Like the Victoria’s Secret for men, The Shaper Image is everything a man wants but doesn’t need …perfect for the holiday! Under Gift Ideas, click Gifts for Him and go crazy. Some of the items are pretty excessive, but think simple and practical… like the Jumbo Universal Remote for $19.95 (you eliminate clutter, he doesn’t have to move).

Secret Santa (with a max spending limit of $25):
This corky site has an entire section dedicated to $25 (and cheaper!) his and her holiday gifts. Some of my favorites: a ping-pong paddle set for $20, a fully outfitted office fish tank for $24 (guaranteed to beat office boredom, fish not included), a 2007 desk calendar that features new artists each day for just $11.95, and the Fantastic Instant Fireplace DVD (complete with crackling noises) for $12 …everything here is amusingly immature and will become your go-to site for holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions until you graduate and grow up.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

This Blog is Super for Bitching

Why is that when given the chance to share our thoughts via a blog, our inclination is to bitch about our media related grievences? I don't have an answer, and I am usually no different, but this post is actually me praising someone elses media related bitching. While looking at videos of Nintendo Wii related accidents, I came across some videos by The Angry Nintendo Nerd.

If you haven't seen any of these, it's basically a beer drinking nerd that complains about the crappy games from the original Nintendo system. Most of us come from the generation of original Nintendo players, so these videos should ring true for those of us who remember pointless game plots, impossibly hard enemies, confusing player controls, etc. There's a good video where he outlines Ninentdo's first attempt at remote player control, that stupid Power Glove. I'm including one where he snaps about the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game. Anyway, you can YouTube the rest of his videos if you're inclined. He does usually go off on some rant where he spews obscenities. Just giving you fair warning. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


After class today I ran across some Wii-related fun stuff for you.

-Wii tennis, but not the one Sean was talking about.

-The Wii Remote Damage Tour, ouch.

-The Japanese super-safe Wii safety manual, and it missing pages.

-Wii Have a Problem, dedicated to "the retards who broke the things in the video."

-PS3 vs. Wii, a little racy, possibly offensive, and a clever parody of the Mac ads in which the PC is a guy in a suit and the Mac is some kind of hipster dude.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Richard Engel Is Great

I am one of those people who still loves to watch the 5:30 nightly news broadcasts. Even in the modern information age where internet enables us to have instant information, I like the classic news broadcasts. My favorite is definitely NBC Nightly with Brian Williams. It's really the only option. I mean Katie Curic? Or ABC? NBC does it right. Even though I don't trust American News (I like BBC), I find myself believing Brian Williams more than any other broadcaster besides Richard Engel who is a correspondent for NBC Nightly. That guy kicks ass. One day I'm sure he will take over the head anchor spot but he's the best in the field. For the last year or so he has been living in Iraq and stationed all over the middle east in the most hostile environments. Tonight they had a segment where he went into a terrorist training camp in Lebanon and interviewed one of the militia leaders. This guys has balls. The area doesn't even let foreigners in much less the American media. Any wrong turns or false moves could easily prove fatal. He talks most of the languages fluently and gains trust with these people who despise Israel and America. He openly discussed their intents, which ranged from suicide bombings in Israel and training to fight against American forces in Iraq. This is REAL news. Not Operation Iraqi Freedom, not discussing how bad people think it is, this is actually showing the other side and how they are not all crazy terrorists. These people have nothing, their government won't recognize them, they have no money, no jobs, and are constantly in danger from inside and outside forces. Engel did not portray these people as good or bad, just as people. Giving the outside world a look at how they live. Richard Engel kicks ass.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Sonic the Hedgehog is a Punk Rocker

Back in the early 90s I was very proud of the fact that all of my favorite bands never got played on the radio. I felt individualized by the idea that my tastes were beyond the realm of mainstream culture. Indeed I embraced the "freak status" that came with playing and listening to loud and abrasive music. That is why I felt betrayed when I heard one of my favorite bands on TV in the early 90s. I was watching TV and an ad for a new sega game came on and the background music for the game demo was the Butthole Surfers. The surfers twisted brand of rock was being co-opted and used to sell videogames. I felt like I was being robbed. Here I had sought out and discovered some really far out music (which wasn't easy in the suburbs and without the internet) and now it was being broadcast to undeserving kids via sega game commercials. I viewed it as the bastardization of the counterculture that I had embraced - something sacred that made me feel like an individual was no longer sacred. It had become categorized, packaged marketing fodder. This was my first experience of seeing my own cultural symbols being co-opted into commercial items, but certainly not the last. The punk rock esthetic that was once characteristic only of punk albums and band flyers has been co-opted into a new youth marketing scheme. Everywhere you look something new is being advertised with the old rough-hewn cut-and-paste style graphics. If you look at a bunch of DIY punk albums from the eighties you will see the same style of graphics that are being used today to market things like energy drinks, videogames, pro sports, etc. This rough-hewn cut-and-paste esthetic used to be used just to decorate the packaging of aggressive music. Well, not anymore. Nothing is sacred. What were once antiestablishment, anticonsumer cultural symbols are now themselves being sold.


First and this:

now continue.

This video is insane. At first, i wasn't sure if it was funny, then i watched it a couple more times and found it hilarious. (kinda like what happens with Anchorman or 40 year old virgin). The video doesn't make sense at all. It is terribly acting, it is some guy dressed up as different characters, and then he is a girl wanting shoes. He also made the video "muffins" but that isn't really funny. I'm not sure what this guy's deal is but he has very random videos he makes on youtube and they are blowing up! He has a website with all of his videos and stories about the characters he created ( ). He is a comedian on the rise, apparently. There are facebook groups about the "Shoes" video and a lot of people are quoting it saying "OMG Shoes...these shoes SUCK!" My roommates and i quote it all the time. It may be a girl thing? I think it is interesting how people can become so popular through websites like youtube.

I Love a Good Explosion

Anyone seen the new Dodge Nitro commercials? They're pretty sweet, if you like seeing things get blown the hell up.

The one commercial I remember best is two guys in a parking lot, the one with an old sedan with a dead battery and the other with his Dodge Nitro. The guy in the sedan says "Try giving it some gas!" and as soon as the Nitro-driver hits the pedal, the man's sedan skyrockets into the air. It might not be as funny as Sprint's Crime Deterrent commercial, but it got a good "heh" out of me.

It also made me wonder how much explosive damage is allowed on commercials, as well as reminding me of the Toyota Tundra (or Tacoma, not sure which) commercial where the truck is nearly invulnerable. Let's blow some more stuff up and see if anyone is smart—and by smart, I mean smart in that (s)he is then dumb enough to actually do it— enough to rig their Nitro to blow up someone's car.

The Power of Editing

I recently came across a pretty interesting streamfile that co-opts a state of the union address from President Bush. It appears so real in fact that after showing the file to many of my friends, a number of them questioned if it was indeed real. After watching it for a while, the speech is so absurd that it there is no question it is not real. Nonetheless, everything from the voice to the gesture of Pres. Bush is so perfectly overdubbed, that you have to question its authenticity. I think that for many fairly objective people to question whether the file is real or not says something about the president and those who serve beside him in office today. The videoclip does play an influential role in questioning just what exactly this administration has done to the name of our country, whether you may feel it is good or bad. Check it out and post a reply to what you think of it if you have the time...

The Power of Editing

I recently came across a pretty interesting streamfile that co-opts a state of the union address from President Bush. It appears so real in fact that after showing the file to many of my friends, a number of them questioned if it was indeed real. After watching it for a while, the speech is so absurd that it there is no question it is not real. Nonetheless, everything from the voice to the gesture of Pres. Bush is so perfectly overdubbed, that you have to question its authenticity. I think that for many fairly objective people to question whether the file is real or not says something about the president and those who serve beside him in office today. The videoclip does play an influential role in questioning just what exactly this administration has done to the name of our country, whether you may feel it is good or bad. Check it out and post a reply to what you think of it if you have the time...

good week for a media experience

well for starters, i would like to appologize for slacking on the whole class attendance thing, but i have way too many damn papers to write. i know, no excuse...

anyway, so on saturday +44 was at the rave. for all of you who have no clue who that is (as i did not), they're the guys from blink 182 minus the tall/whiney/kind of hot one. though i had to work at 5 that night at my stupid restaurant, i was still scheduled to "banner the rave". little did i know, at first, that bannering the rave equaled getting to meet the band.

so first we went in to watch their soundcheck. they were pretty decent. i'm sure if i knew songs it would've been better cause it was hard to understand what they were singing and it kind of sounded off key to me, but then again it was just a measely soundcheck...

what WAS cool about it was that travis barker the drummer broke one of his arms or something so he had to pull a def lepard and play with only one. that guy was nuts.

so whatever, after that we went to one of the back rooms where they were going to sign autographs and whatnot. on the way to the rave i was even thinking of things i could say to them and planning it all out in my head, but of course i just ended up sounding mentally retarded when i was talking to them. i said that it smelled real sharpieish around here...cause they use sharpies to sign...yeah....i got a nervous laugh out of them for that one.

so anyway, that was cool and mark hoppus is way hotter than he used to be.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Triumph talks to Star Wars fans

I thought this would be a great video to post consitering our topic of fanatics. For those who do not know, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog is a puppet created and performed on NBC's Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Triumph's trademark persona is that of an obnoxious and ribald insult comic, who travels to various places, interviews people, and makes fun of them. In this video, Triumph goes to a theatre where the trailer of Star Wars Episode 1 is being premiered. Here is the video:

Turn Down Your Freaking Headphones

I'm twenty-five years old, so by no means old. I still like to listen to my music at a fairly high decibal level depending on the circumstances. I would listen to music loud in my car before the radio was stolen, and currently in my house as long as it is early enough so I can avoid my landlords bitching, and concerts of course. On campus recently I've been seeing people with thier I-pods and yes, discmans with the volume so loud that it was clearly audible to everyone within 30 feet of them.

I couldn't stand to have that loud of music blaring directly in my ear. It is incredibly painful. And aside from that, it is really irritating to people around them trying to read, or study, or not listen to Rascal Flats. This guy yesterday was blaring country music through his Discman right next to me and it was loud enough to disrupt a conversation I was having for several minutes. Perhaps I sound like an old man now complaining about punk kids and their loud music, but that is not the case. Even in my youngest days I wouldn't have wanted to stick my head in a speaker and turn the volume all the way up.

This is way different than a house system, car stereo or concert. This is a disruption in a place that is generally preferred to be peaceful. I may be older and with it I've gained some common sense and respect for my environment. I'll blast music in my car (if I had a stereo) because I'm outside and their are airplanes and obnoxious motorcyles and whatever else making a lot of noise. But in a lecture hall when their are people studying and reading, it's way out of line.